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Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 18 December 1959 (Japan)
During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Stanley Shapiro (screenplay), Maurice Richlin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cary Grant ... Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman
Tony Curtis ... Lt. JG Nicholas Holden
Joan O'Brien ... Lt. Dolores Crandall RN
Dina Merrill ... Lt. Barbara Duran RN
Gene Evans ... Chief Molumphry
Dick Sargent ... Ens. Stovall (as Richard Sargent)
Virginia Gregg ... Maj. Edna Heywood RN
Robert F. Simon ... Capt. J.B. Henderson
Robert Gist ... Lt. Watson
Gavin MacLeod ... Ernest Hunkle
George Dunn George Dunn ... The Prophet
Dick Crockett Dick Crockett ... Harmon
Madlyn Rhue ... Lt. Reid RN
Marion Ross ... Lt. Colfax RN
Clarence Lung Clarence Lung ... Sgt. Ramon Gillardo (as Clarence E. Lung)
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Storyline

A submarine newly commissioned is damaged in the opening days of WW II. A captain, looking for a command insists he can get it to a dockyard and captain it. Going slowly to this site, they find a stranded group of Army nurses and must take them aboard. How bad can it get? Trying to get a primer coat on the sub, they have to mix white and red in order to have enough. When forced to flee the dock during an air attack, they find themselves with the world's only Pink submarine, still with 5 women in the tight quarters of a submarine. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Submerged with 5 Girls...No wonder the S.S. Sea Tiger turned a Shocking Pink! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1959 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$23,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time Cary Grant played a submarine commander. The first was Destination Tokyo (1943). See more »

Goofs

All the real vessels used in the film - USS Wren, USS Balao, USS Archer-Fish and USS Queenfish - served in the Second World War but were launched after the period in which these events take place. USS Wren and USS Queenfish were launched in 1944, USS Balao in 1942 (October), and USS Archer-Fish in 1943. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Molumphry, will this boat go down?
Chief Molumphry: Like a rock sir.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Mr. Watson, how are the plates?
Lt. Watson: Tight as a drum sir.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: And the engines, Tostin?
Chief Mechanic's Mate Sam Tostin: Factory fresh, sir.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Well how about it?
Capt. J.B. Henderson: I say take your thieves and these liars here and get the hell out. Oh there's one stipulation, you'll engage no enemy shipping and that includes lifeboats. Even if you see one of them swimming in the water, avoid him. He might kick a hole in your side. Good luck Matt.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening sequences as viewed through a periscope with cast and crew as various sea creatures. See more »

Alternate Versions

Original German version was edited by ca. 22 minutes. Kinowelt DVD release incorporates ca. 5 minutes back into the film (all non-dialogue) and has the uncut English version as a bonus feature. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Brave Crew of the Petticoat (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Remember April Music
Performed by Gene DePaul
Lyrics by Patricia Johntson and Don Raye Played by Tokyo Rose radio broadcast.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
We All Live In A Pink Submarine
31 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In Tony Curtis's filmed tribute to Cary Grant for TCM he made much of his well known idolatry of the man who made him want to become an actor. As a kid growing up in the mean streets of New York, young Bernie Schwartz saw in Cary Grant all he ever wanted to be up there on the silver screen.

During naval service on board a submarine in World War II he got to see Cary Grant in Warner Brothers Destination Tokyo. As Curtis said, life has a funny way of working things out. What happens; Tony Curtis gets to star with Grant years later in a World War II service comedy that is set aboard a submarine.

Destination Tokyo was not one of Grant's best films, but Operation Petticoat definitely is. Right after World War II starts, Grant's new ship, the Tigerfish is sunk right in her berth in a remote Pacific Island. Grant persuades Admiral Robert Simon to make whatever repairs he can and try and get the ship back to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

Among other things Grant gets is a new officer Tony Curtis who hasn't exactly seen much sea duty, but he's quite the operator. The two develop quite an interesting relationship on the voyage.

And it's one thing after another on that memorable shakedown cruise back to Pearl Harbor. But Cary Grant is as unflappable and charming as ever, though even he seems a bit put out at times.

There are some pretty hilarious moments in Operation Petticoat, the sinking of a truck, the painting of the Tigerfish pink and then having to leave it that way until Pearl Harbor. And who can forget how they are saved from friendly fire at the climax of the film.

Operation Petticoat was one of the biggest commercial and critical hits that Cary Grant had in Hollywood. Coming right after North By Northwest it could well be argued this was the high point of his career.

The film holds up very well today, I think today's audience would laugh just as hard as they did in 1959.


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